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Upper Hutt Leader : June 15th 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 SERVING YOUR COMMUNITY SINCE 1939 Letters 10 Real Estate 22-36 Arts 31-33 Motoring 37 Classifieds 38-42 Sport 44-48 NOT ANY OLD TRACTOR Armoured for army use 3 SNEEZE TUTORIAL Keeping kids safer 5 AMALGAMATION PLAN Two-tier suggestion 6 Fluoride network pleased By COLIN WILLIAMS A majority decision by the Upper Hutt City Council to lobby Greater Wellington to remove flu- oride from the region s water supply has been hailed a major milestone by the Fluoride Action Network. The decision, taken with an unofficially recorded seven to four vote, emerged out of Thursday s hearing of public submissions to the council s own 2011/12 annual plan. The controversial fluoridation subject was mostly seen as a free- dom of choice issue, with council- lors Nick Thomas and John Gwilliam leading the discussion ahead of the decision. The existing fluoridation sys- tem allowed no choice and amounted to mass medication , Mr Thomas says. Although nothing specific on fluoridation was included in the draft annual plan, councillors received more than a dozen anti- fluoride submissions. We congratulate the Upper Hutt councillors for putting com- mon sense, respect for others and principles above all else, the Action Network s national co- ordinator, Mary Byrne, says. This is a major milestone in the road toward having fluori- dation stopped for the whole of Wellington. However, rather than lobby Greater Wellington, which has always maintained that it will do as its customers request, the Upper Hutt City Council should instigate discussion with the Hutt, Porirua and Wellington councils, Ms Byrne says. Councillors around the country are finally looking at the facts of this issue and realising that if there are any benefits from fluori- dation then they are grossly overstated, that there are serious risks to health . . . , she says. Sunny side of good life King of the castle: Mary Beth Taylor and the new rooftop electricity system that has put her household in control of their power bill. The dark panel in the centre is the existing solar hot water one, the rest are the new photovoltaic system. By ROSEMARY McLENNAN ' The PV system will produce a savings of at least $1800 per year which is the the cost of our annual electricity bills. This is equal to 6 per cent per annum interest on a $30,000 investment and the earnings are tax-free. ' Mary Beth Taylor A Whitemans Valley couple s rooftop installation has turned them into power suppliers to Mer- idian Energy. Tony Chad and Mary Beth Tay- lor have installed photovoltaic energy panels costing $30,000 on their roof. Not only will they save the $1800 cost of their annual power bills but excess electricity will be sold back to Meridian. The couple, seeking a resilient lifestyle , had a $3800 solar hot water heating panel installed six years ago with the help of a three- year interest-free loan. By comparing their electricity usage with their neighbours they saw the immediate benefits the system provided for their house- hold of three to four people. And in the summer they were able to turn the hot water cylinder element off. They decided against installing a wind turbine and opted instead, while installing a Silbery longrun roof, to turn it into an energy gen- eration plant. They could not get a subsidy because of the likelihood of being able to sell surplus energy. The couple have been Meridian clients for some time because all their energy comes from renew- able sources and stayed with the company because it buys surplus power at the wholesale market rate. When people question the cost of the system and its value as an investment I remind them that the complete installed cost of the system is about half what a new ute would cost, Ms Taylor says. While a car will devalue by at least 25 per cent when you drive away from the dealer and will con- tinue to incur upkeep, warrant and registration costs, the PV sys- tem will keep producing power indefinitely with no upkeep other than occasionally washing the panels. The system is guaranteed to produce at least 80 per cent of its original potential even after 30 years. The PV system will produce a savings of at least $1800 per year, which is the the cost of our annual electricity bills. This is equal to 6 per cent per annum interest on a $30,000 investment and the earnings are tax-free. The current interest rate for bank term deposits is less than 4.5 per cent and is taxed. When electricity prices increase the PV system will produce additional savings. An added bonus is that excess energy produced will be sold back to the grid at the market rate to provide electricity for other households. Ms Taylor says the technology is new but the concept of self- sufficiency is not. On their lifestyle block they are working towards an integrated permacul- ture system -- developing an organic partnership with the land to create a renewable and sustainable growing environment. To help the land heal they planted more than 800 trees. The property is now a paradise that provides rain water, fire- wood, compost, organic vegetables and fruits, free range eggs, solar- heated hot water and now all the family s electricity needs from the photovoltaic system. The eels have even returned to the stream. The couple will again have their property in the Mansfield Meander in November so people can see the PV system.
June 8th 2011
June 22nd 2011